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Mother’s health after baby’s birth: does delivery method matter?

Mother’s health after baby’s birth: does delivery method matter?
Mother’s health after baby’s birth: does delivery method matter?
The dramatic increase in the utilization of caesarean section has raised concerns on its impact on public expenditure and health. While the financial costs associated with this surgical procedure are well recognized, less is known on the intangible health costs borne by mothers and their families. We contribute to the debate by investigating the effect of unplanned caesarean deliveries on mothers’ mental health in the first nine months after the delivery. Differently from previous studies, we account for the unobserved heterogeneity due to the fact that mothers who give birth through an unplanned caesarean delivery may be different than mothers who give birth with a natural delivery. Identification is achieved exploiting exogenous variation in the position of the baby in the womb at the time of delivery while controlling for hospital unobserved factors. We find that mothers having an unplanned caesarean section are at higher risk of developing postnatal depression and this result is robust to alternative specifications.
0167-6296
182-196
Tonei, Valentina
0a1335c9-9eb9-433c-82c1-5dac13ce71f7
Tonei, Valentina
0a1335c9-9eb9-433c-82c1-5dac13ce71f7

Tonei, Valentina (2019) Mother’s health after baby’s birth: does delivery method matter? Journal of Health Economics, 63, 182-196. (doi:10.1016/j.jhealeco.2018.11.006).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The dramatic increase in the utilization of caesarean section has raised concerns on its impact on public expenditure and health. While the financial costs associated with this surgical procedure are well recognized, less is known on the intangible health costs borne by mothers and their families. We contribute to the debate by investigating the effect of unplanned caesarean deliveries on mothers’ mental health in the first nine months after the delivery. Differently from previous studies, we account for the unobserved heterogeneity due to the fact that mothers who give birth through an unplanned caesarean delivery may be different than mothers who give birth with a natural delivery. Identification is achieved exploiting exogenous variation in the position of the baby in the womb at the time of delivery while controlling for hospital unobserved factors. We find that mothers having an unplanned caesarean section are at higher risk of developing postnatal depression and this result is robust to alternative specifications.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 26 November 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 7 December 2018
Published date: January 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 437108
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/437108
ISSN: 0167-6296
PURE UUID: bf33bac9-d2dc-4301-9bbb-193d994c6e1e
ORCID for Valentina Tonei: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3981-4477

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 17 Jan 2020 17:32
Last modified: 12 Feb 2020 01:47

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